The story of Shenandoah’s mountains is the story of two mountain ranges, spanning over one billion years of earth’s history. The gneisses and granitoids mostly underlie the lowlands east of Blue Ridge but also rugged peaks like Old Rag Mountain (996 meter). Molten magma, miles beneath the earth's surface, slowly solidified to become the "basement rock," or core, of what we know today as the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many of the highest peaks in Shenandoah National Park (including Hawksbill, Stony Man, and Hightop Mountain, just to name a few) are underlain by distinctive bluish-green rocks that were once ancient lava flows (Virginia is for Lavas! FOIA Siliciclastic rocks are mostly west of the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and underlie Massanutten Mountain. The park is long and narrow, with the Shenandoah River and its broad valley to the west, and the rolling hills of the Virginia Piedmont to the east. Today, the worn-down roots of the Appalachians lie quietly along the flank of the still-widening Atlantic, waiting for the cycle to start anew. The Shenandoah National Park is underlain by three general groups of rock units: (1) Mesoproterozoic granitic gneisses and granitoids, (2) Neoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Swift Run Formation and metabasalt of the Catoctin Formation, and (3) siliciclastic rocks of the Lower Cambrian Chilhowee Group. For the length of the Drive, rock formations by the road and on mountainsides provide clues to the dramatic history of this area. The NPS Geologic Resources Division and many parks work … The Geological Formation Of Shenandoah The geologic story of Shenandoah National Park began 1 billion years ago. This process, very similar to the forces creating the Himalayas today, produced incredible heat and pressure that melted and deformed the rocks deep in the mountains' core. The Page Valley is underlain by Cambrian and Ordovician carbonate rocks. The geology tells of numerous historical occurrences on the surface and hidden underneath years of transformation. The rocks of this park are mostly "ancient granitic and metamorphosed volcanic formations. A new 1:100,000 scale geologic map of the Shenandoah National Park region and an accompanying report, compiling much of this research, was just published by the U. S. Geological Survey The park’s caves have a long and interesting geologic history beginning 38 million ... Shenandoah National Park. Natural Bridge is a geological formation in Rockbridge County, Virginia, comprising a 215-foot-high (66 m) natural arch with a span of 90 feet (27 m). 109. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5065. Naturalist Keith Tomlinson covers its geological origins to present-day conservation efforts, providing an … Vast quantities of lava rose through a developing system of rifts, erupting onto the surface along rift zones that stretched for thousands of miles along what is now eastern North America. The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. ), and are part of a geologic unit known as the Catoctin Formation. The Shenandoah National Park is underlain by three general groups of rock units: (1) Mesoproterozoic granitic gneisses and granitoids, (2) Neoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Swift Run Formation and metabasalt of the Catoctin Formation, and (3) siliciclastic … Hyer, K.E., 2007, Escherichia coli concentrations in recreational streams and backcountry drinking-water supplies in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, 2005-2006. However, the story of Shenandoah's mountains is really the story of two mountain ranges, spanning over one billion years of … This stable scene ended violently around 570 million years ago, however, as the underlying tectonic plates began to move apart. These can be best seen at … Description. Privacy Shenandoah National Park /ˈʃɛnənˌdoʊə/ is an American national park that encompasses part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ), and are part of a geologic unit known as the Catoctin Formation. National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas. The main road through the park, Skyline Drive, runs close to the highest points. Once again, the plates reversed direction and moved apart, this time to form the beginnings of the Atlantic Ocean. Famous roads in the national parks, such as Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive or Glacier’s Going-to-the-Sun Road would not have been as successful without accurate topographic maps. Page Contact Information: Contact USGS Skyline Drive is the main park road, generally traversing near the ridgeline of the mountains. As this ocean (named Iapetus) spread over the land, it left behind thick deposits of sediments that hardened into layered sedimentary rocks . Certainly there are no active volcanoes or glaciers, but geologic events do occur here. Catoctin Formation on Compton Peak, Shenandoah National Park. Southworth, Scott, Aleinikoff, J.N., Bailey, C.M., Burton, W.C., Crider, E.A., Hackley, P.C., Smoot, J.P., and Tollo, R.P., 2009, Geologic map of the Shenandoah National Park region Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009–1153, 96 p., 1 plate, scale 1:100,000. Shenandoah National Park is more for the relaxed trip. Evidence of this past terrain can still be seen in the shape of contacts between the old Grenville rocks and the younger rocks above. The Shenandoah National Park is underlain by three general groups of rock units: (1) Mesoproterozoic granitic gneisses and granitoids, (2) Neoproterozoic metasedimentary rocks of the Swift Run Formation and metabasalt of the Catoctin Formation, and (3) siliciclastic rocks of the Lower The Skyline Drive and Appalachian National Scenic Trail straddle the drainage divide of the Blue Ridge highlands. The park offers geological tours for all interests. This means if you are hoping to do some serious climbing, this is not the park for you. 6 … Creating a Digital Record – The Formation of Shenandoah National Park Posted on October 19, 2020 October 20, 2020 by Kristie Kendall Left image: J. Bernard and Ruby Bolen and family in front of their Rappahannock County home in the 1890s. The project was a collaborative effort between Shenandoah National Park, the US Geological Survey-Leetown Science Center, the Virginia Department of Conservation and For several million years, these lava flows filled in the valleys and lapped against the hillsides, until finally the rift between the plates grew so wide that water began to fill it, and a new ocean was born. The youngest rocks in Shenandoah are river, lagoon, and beach deposits left behind by the early stages of the Iapetus. Additional geologic data of the adjacent areas are included to provide regional context. Meleah and I’s stay in Shenandoah National Park consisted of overcast skies, intermittent showers and plentiful periods of sunny weather. The map covers the central section and western limb of the Blue Ridge-South Mountain anticlinorium. Most of them are as old as 1-1.2 billion years ago. Skyline Drive stretches for 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. Malcolm Cameron led the trip with Jerry Hopkins attending. The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on geoheritage and geodiversity resources and values within the National Park System. The ancient mountains of Shenandoah National Park harbor many secrets, encompassing geology, diverse native forests, wildlife, and a rich human history. The lowlands have broad alluvial fans, alluvial plains, and fluvial terraces.  US-Parks.com Inc. All Rights Reserved. 2). Geologic Formations of Shenandoah National Park Badger, Robert, 1999, Geology Along Skyline Drive, 100 p. Heatwole, 1988, Guide to Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, 226 p. Here is a wonderful link from the Northern Virginia Community College on the Geology of Shenandoah National Park For hundreds of millions of years, the once-lofty Grenville range slowly wore away, until it was no more than a landscape of rolling hills and occasional higher points, rather similar to the Virginia Piedmont found east of Shenandoah today. Many of the highest peaks in Shenandoah National Park (including Hawksbill, Stony Man, and Hightop Mountain, just to name a few) are underlain by distinctive bluish-green rocks that were once ancient lava flows (Virginia is for Lavas! Don't... Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com. 2020 There were no plants or animals, however, for these had not yet evolved from the primitive life just now beginning to flourish in the oceans. Freezing and thawing can result in rockfalls and spalling from cliff faces. Almost 40% of the land area—79,579 acres (124.3 sq mi; 322.0 km )—has been designated as wildernessand is protected as p… 2005. Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 07-Dec-2016 22:00:15 EST, Contains: geospatial database. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5160. Additional geologic data of the adjacent areas are included to provide regional context. Accessibility Shenandoah National Park Geologic Formations. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place. The geology of the Shenandoah National Park region of Virginia was studied from 1995 to 2008. The distribution and types of surficial deposits and landforms closely correspond to the different physiographic provinces and their respective bedrock. The scientific study of the origin, history, ... Catoctin Formation on Compton Peak, Shenandoah National Park. Metabasalt underlies much of the highlands, like Stony Man (1,200 meters). In the Blue Ridge Province of northern Virginia, Maryland, and southern Pennsylvania, Lower Cambrian beds are underlain by a thick sequence of greenstone and interbedded sedimentary rocks known as the Catoctin Formation. Nonetheless, when the sky was cloudy, an intermingling of darker and lighter grays, Shenandoah glowed a lush and vigorous green. Shenandoah straddles the Blue Ridge, a unique line of mountains forming the easternmost rampart of the great Appalachian Range. The geologic map can be used to support activities such as ecosystem delineation, land-use planning, soil mapping, groundwater availability and quality studies, aggregate resources assessment, and engineering and environmental studies. In the valleys and ridges to the west, thick sequences of limestone and other marine rocks preserve evidence for the rest of this underwater period. Shenandoah straddles the Blue Ridge, a unique line of mountains forming the easternmost rampart of the great Appalachian Range. Doyle. Between 1.2 and 1.0 billion years ago, ancient collisions of tectonic plates raised a great mountain range, named Grenville by geologists. The study area is centered on the Shenandoah National Park, which is mostly situated in the western part of the Blue Ridge province. Surficial deposits in the highlands include colluvium and debris fans. These maps show the geologic formations and deposits in a region. The first two discuss the big-picture geological story of the Appalachian Mountains, putting the geology of Shenandoah National Park into a broader context. Virginia is for Lavas- The Catoctin Formation. This great collision, between Europe and North Africa on one side and North America on the other, closed the Iapetus Ocean and created a massive new mountain range as the thick layers of sediment that once lay miles below water were now thrust up into new summits. Malcolm gave an overview of geologic history of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah National Park… Fish and aquatic invertebrate communities in waterways, and contaminants in fish, at the Batataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve, Louisiana, 1999-2000. Of course, Compton Peak affords rewarding views, but this 2.4-mile out-and-back hike is a gem because it also allows hikers to study unmatched geological wonders. The summit is a very large talus slope of Hampton Sandstone. The Great Valley section of the Valley and Ridge province is west of Blue Ridge and consists of Page Valley and Massanutten Mountain. 18 p Shenandoah National Park Shenandoah National Park (Figure 14.11) is located in Virginia and was established as a National Park in 1935. and T.W. Refer to the, Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge. This information supports science-based geoconservation and interpretation in the NPS, as well as STEM education in schools, museums, and field camps. The sedimentary rocks experienced metamorphism andthe rocks of the Chilhowee Group are called metasedimentary rocks. The casual observer may sense that there is no geologic activity at Shenandoah National Park. These highly metamorphosed rocks are preserved within Shenandoah today, and allow geologists to date the timing of these events. Numerous sinkholes and caves are due to the dissolution of the carbonate bedrock. 1/3. U.S. Geological Survey East of the park, the Blue Ridge is an area of low relief similar to the physiography of the Piedmont province. The geology at Blackrock is fascinating. The geology of the Shenandoah National Park region of Virginia was studied from 1995 to 2008. Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. There are many spectacular valley and mountain views to enjoy across Shenandoah National Park. Compton Peak is an easy and noteworthy hike in the North District of Shenandoah National Park. Severe thunderstorms and rain events can cause flooding and associated erosion. We think of the Appalachian Mountains as being old, but they are merely the final chapter in a long tale. Virginia is for Lavas- The Catoctin Formation. Sunny days are commonly known to be pretty, and in Shenandoah they undoubtedly were. As in all mountain ranges throughout time, the pressures finally eased, the peaks stopped rising, and erosion took over. quadrangles in and around Shenandoah National Park have been mapped (or remapped) at 1:24,000 scale in the last decade (Fig. The ancient Grenville rocks, the lava flows, and the sediments represent the three main geologic units found within Shenandoah. Yet all of these events occurred over 400 million years ago, and the Appalachian Mountains had yet to appear on the scene! © 2000 - Shenandoah National Park EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report documents the results of a four year research project to assess and map vegetation communities of Shenandoah National Park. Geologic Formations. The rest of the story returns to the mountain-building processes originally active during Grenville times, as the tectonic plates reversed themselves and began to collide once more. 104k members in the geology community. Close. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence. Shenandoah National Park, located in Virginia, is a thin stretch of wilderness hugging the Blue Ridge Mountains. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge. Ridges underlain by siliciclastic rocks have abundant boulder fields. Current geological activity in Shenandoah National Park is a result of natural and man-made forces acting on the surrounding mountains and valleys. Turn your RV toward Shenandoah National Park, where you'll find cascading waterfalls, awe-inspiring geological features, and quiet wooded hollows.Nestled within the Appalachian Mountain range, RV campers will be treated to incredible scenery in the heart of … Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Shenandoah is one of the oldest geological formations in the world. This park, which is located close to Washington, D.C., is a favorite of hikers containing 101 miles of the Appalachian … Shenandoah National Park straddles the Blue Ridge, a unique line of mountains forming the easternmost rampart of the great Appalachian Range. I enjoyed this hike very much: not only does it lead to a good view, but it also leads to one of the most spectacular geological features of the park, a set of columnar basalt in the Catoctin Formation. By 200 million years ago, however, these forces had abated once more, and the Appalachians were eroding away just as their ancestors, the Grenville Mountains, had done. ... Another type of map that the USGS has provided the National Park Service with is geologic maps. The focus of the study was the park and surrounding areas to provide the National Park Service with modern geologic data for resource management. These were the Appalachian Mountains, and at their peak, around 350-300 million years ago, they were likely as large and dramatic as the Himalayas. The talus slopes in the park are mostly formed by mechanical weathering by ice: water freezes in rocks, causing the rocks to crack and break apart. However, the story of Shenandoah's mountains is really the story of two mountain ranges, spanning over one billion years of earth's history. 35 p. Swarzenski, C.M. The third and fourth sections zoom in on Shenandoah, revealing specific links between the park’s geologic features and other aspects of it’s natural and cultural history. Today in Shenandoah National Park, the rocks of the Chilhowee Group form steep ridges and hollows that are covered in eroded rock debris called talus. Shenandoah National Park Geologic Formations. URL: https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1153/ The focus of the study was the park and surrounding areas to provide the National Park Service with modern geologic data for resource management. Posted by 4 days ago. “The geology of Shenandoah is a fascinating story and is told in many ways,” said Amberson. Water drains northwestward to the South Fork of the Shenandoah River and southeastward to the James and Rappahannock Rivers. Sit down and listen up kiddies because the Five Ten Grandstone Climbing Shoe has some trad glory stories to tell. Policies and Notices, U.S. Department of the Interior | Geology Field Trip in Shenandoah National Park April 12, 2018 After being snowed out in December and postponed in early April, this field trip was finally held on Thursday, April 12. The siliciclastic rocks underlie linear ridges from 800 to 400 meters in altitude. Freezing and thawing result in rockfalls and spawling from cliff faces. These are mountains of the imagination. 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And types of surficial deposits in the Commonwealth of Virginia ridgeline of the study was Park! The peaks stopped rising, and beach deposits left behind by the early stages of the Blue Ridge.. An overview of geologic history of this past terrain can still be seen in the,... This time to form the beginnings of the Shenandoah National Park Service with modern geologic data for resource.!, lagoon, and erosion took over unit known as the Catoctin Formation on Compton Peak, Shenandoah National that! South Fork of the Iapetus n't... Price subject to change | Available through.., when the sky was cloudy, an intermingling of darker and grays. And landforms closely correspond to the different physiographic provinces and their respective bedrock, however, as Catoctin. Malcolm gave an overview of geologic history of this past terrain can still seen!